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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 16, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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the people who sent you there and they're not happy. in a new cbs news/"new york times" poll out tonight, the job performance of congress was approved of by only 12% of americans. that tied the lowest rating we have ever seen in our poll. disapproval was 80%. and have a look at this. president obama's job performance was approved of by only 43%, an all-time low. his all-time high back in april of '09 was 68%, so that's a fall of 25 points. we have three washington correspondents covering this story. first, nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy? >> reporter: scott, just 6% in our poll said that they think that most members of congress deserve to be reelected. that's an all time low. and it reflects just how discouraged americans are after the spectacle that played out here over the debt. the dismal numbers come as no
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surprise to senator michael bennett of colorado. >> the congress can't get its act together. >> reporter: he gotten a earful from anguished constituents during the august recess. >> every single town hall meeting started with somebody saying "what's wrong with you guys? why can't you work together to solve this problem?" >> reporter: republican lawmakers get worse marks than democrats in the poll, but not by much. disapproval of republicans stands at 72%, democrats 63%. 22-year-old ali shadle of l.a. isn't impressed by either side. >> i'm a child and i'm watching children run my country. and that's upsetting. it's both parties. there feeds to be a huge shift. >> reporter: she'll get no argument from 85-year-old michigan democrat john dingell, the longest-serving congressman. >> is there anyone among u.s. here that are proud that we could not produce a budget? that we caused the downgrading of the u.s. government securities? >> reporter: several lawmakers came back from the august break
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saying they'd got the message and want to work together. but jacquelyn sturges of chicago is skeptical. she has heard it before. >> what is the problem when some of the best educated people in this nation cannot sit down and bring a resolution to a problem plaguing this country? would someone please explain that to me? >> reporter: americans feel slightly better about their own member of congress. 33% in our poll saying that they believe their own representative deserves to be reelected. but, scott, even that is close to an historic low. >> pelley: thanks, nancy. there was something else we noticed in the poll about congress. we've been taking these polls for decades and almost always when folks say they don't like congress, they make an exception for their own congressman. but this time when we asked "do you think your own representative deserves reelection?" a 57% said no.
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of course, it is the economy that has folks upset. the worst recovery in american history. the poll asked "is the u.s. headed into another recession?" 53% told us yes. we asked how much longer will the unemployment rate remain high. 58% said two years or more. 9.1% of americans are unemployed and we checked in on some of them at job fairs this week in new york city, in dallas, and in edison, new jersey. and of all the people we talked to, we thought diane dolfinger in edison summed it up best. >> we need help today, not tomorrow, not next month, not like our government says we're working on it. work on it now, not tomorrow. work on it today. >> pelley: so do they hear diane dolfinger at the white house? our norah o'donnell is there. norah? >> reporter: scott, the president says he's frustrated, too, but he can't ignore fact
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that 72% of americans now think this country is headed in the wrong direction. that's the highest number since president obama took office. facing the worst approval ratings of his presidency, today mr. obama took his message to a high school in virginia. >> so this bill answers the urgent need to create jobs right away. >> reporter: the president made his third pitch this week in a battleground state to pass the american jobs act-- a plan to spur immediate job growth. >> we've got to do everything we can to get this economy growing faster in the short term. >> reporter: the president is trying to convey a sense of urgency for his plan at a time when 68% of americans don't think mr. obama has made any real progress fixing the economy. and americans are divided about whether his bill will actually create any new jobs, despite the president's claims. >> this jobs bill will put unemployed construction workers back to work rebidding our schools and our roads and our
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bridges. >> reporter: still, when asked about specific proposals in the president's plan, most americans seemed to like them. 81% think it's a good idea to cut taxes for small businesses. 80% agree america should spend more money on infrastructure like schools and bridges. 56% like the idea of a payroll tax cut. and just over half think providing noun state governments so they can avoid layoffs is a good idea. finally, most americans would like to see both tax increases and spending cuts to lower the deficit. 56% support increasing taxes on households making over $250,000. >> we'll make sure that everybody pays their fair share-- including those of us who've been incredibly fortunate and blessed in this country. >> reporter: most of these numbers are bad news for the president, but last night he told contributors that he knows one thing for certain: that the odds of him being reelected are
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much higher than the odds of him being elected in the first place. and he can say, that scott, because he believes that the republican poll numbers are even worse. >> pelley: norah, thanks very much. while a lot of people don't approve of the job the president is doing, before now, more people personally liked mr. obama than disliked him. but even that has changed. the new poll... when we asked in our poll for an opinion of president obama, not favorable was 42%. favorable 39%. bob schieffer is our chief washington correspondent and anchor of "face the nation." bob, what do you see in these numbers? >> well, when the president starts talking about his numbers are higher than the republicans numbers, i mean, that's like talking about what the highest mountain in kansas happens to be. scott, these numbers are so bad across the board that they go beyond disapproval of the president or the congress. these suggest that people are losing confidence in the government's ability to get
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anything done. i mean, think about it. 72% think that the country is headed in the wrong direction and yet these numbers tell us that people have lost confidence that the government, that washington, can really do anything about that. and that's kind of scary. i can't remember when there's been that kind of feeling across the country at this depth. >> pelley: bob, are you seeing any signs in washington that either congress or the white house are hearing the people at home? >> well, i mean, it's hard to tell about the congress. they're so concentrated on raising money in their individual districts. but i think when you can get the people at the white house off camera, they put on a beret front on camera, but when you've got people, prominent democrats like james carville saying the president ought to fire everybody that works at the white house, when you see him losing support amongst the people in the movie industry out in california-- which is really one of his strongest places where he was able to raise money and get support-- you believe
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people who will talk to you off camera, democrats who say they're beginning to think that this president is vulnerable unless something changes and starts changing pretty fast. >> pelley: bob, thank you very much. bob's guests on this sunday's "face the nation" will be former president bill clinton and former vice president dick cheney. that civil war in libya never seems to end. today the rebels began a push to seize two of the last bastions of the qaddafi regime. qaddafi still holds the cities of bani walid, population 150,000 and surt, home to 100,000. elizabeth palmer made it to the front lines today. >> reporter: the rebel fighters are giving it all they've got, hoping this is the end game. the assault on qaddafi's hometown of surt started 24 hours ago. rebel forces mustered their heaviest artillery, even tanks captured from qaddafi's army
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against fierce resistance from qaddafi loyalist who've had plenty of time to dig in. by late afternoon, though, the rebels claimed they had seized surt's airport. but they were less successful 180 miles to the west where hundreds of them massed near the other qaddafi stronghold of bani walid. bani walid's been under siege for more than two weeks and this is the closest we've ever come. we can see the outskirts on the horizon, we can hear the sounds of the battle going on in there. the rebels are making headway against qaddafi loyalists, they say. they also say when they get in they hope to find saif al islam, colonel qaddafi's most influential and political son. most fighters are convinced bani walid will be saif's last stand. how many of you think saif is in bani walid? that would explain the qaddafi
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forces fierce counterattack says the unit comanter asim elghospy. blood from his wounded men still on his face. but today you got further in than ever before. >> yeah. yeah. >> reporter: today was a day you had the biggest advance. >> yes. >> reporter: but now you're pulling back. >> yes, pulling back, to put a new plan. >> reporter: but by late afternoon, a full-scale retreat was under way. the rebels planning to regroup and brace themselves for a replay in the morning. there's no question the rebels are brave and they're motivated, but they were... really suffered today from the same problems that have plagued phlegm the very beginning, that is poor weapons and even worse leadership on the battlefield. >> pelley: liz, i wonder, when was the last time we heard from qaddafi and what's the betting on where he is? >> reporter: well, last time he appeared in public was back in june. he was said to be in tripoli in august. he's since disappeared. people close to him say chances
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are he's somewhere out in that desolate thousands of miles of libyan desert where he can still find sympathetic tribal elders who will shelter him. >> pelley: liz, thank you very much. the red-hot issue of palestinian statehood is coming to a head. the leader of the palestinian authority, abu ghraib ab, said today that he will ask the... mahmoud abbas, said he will ask for full membership in the u.n. the u.s. has pledged to veto that. tension has been riding on the west bank ahead of the u.n. meeting. today hundreds of palestinian protestors threw rocks at israeli police who fired back with tear gas. the supreme court blocks the execution of a texas man convicted of double murder. a car company and a local government team up to create jobs and rebuild a town. and he was bullied to death. now his parents are pushing for new laws to protect other children. when the "cbs evening news" continues. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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third straight month. georgia had the biggest year-over-year job loss of any state, and one georgia town fed up with unemployment has found a way to put people back to work. we asked chip reid to show us. >> reporter: joyce spears says that from day one she knew exactly how to do her job on this kia assembly line in west point, georgia. >> with this you come in, you know what you're going to do, you know what's going to be expected. >> reporter: that's because all 3,000 workers here first went through georgia's quick start, the nation's oldest and most successful state job training program. >> five minutes remaining. >> reporter: georgia spent $14.5 million of taxpayer money to build this training facility models on the assembly line right on kia's property. quick start's roger brown says it was all part of convincing kia to come to georgia. >> i think the key to success is listening to the business.
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and it's delivering the exact skill it is company needs at the right time. >> reporter: randy jackson is kia's vice president for human resources. >> iin a bad economy, can a program like quick start make the difference between success and failure? >> absolutely. because if you train your people right and they enjoy what they're doing and they do it well, they're going to be happy and they're going to be excited about what they do and have pride in their work. >> reporter: this area was once home to a thriving textile industry, but when those jobs went overseas, this is what was left behind. and this community was on the verge of becoming a ghost town. today it's roaring back. restaurants are packed for lunch and west point mayor drew furguson says 39 businesses have openedded their doors since kia came to town. >> as the textile industry begins to wind down here, we did have a very, very solid work force and through the georgia quick start program we've been able to take that manufacturing base and convert it from
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textiles into automotive. >> reporter: over the past year, the quick start program has worked with 220 companies across georgia, training 11,000 workers. officials say it's an investment that pays for itself many times over-- a lesson for other states looking for a spark in a dismal economy. chip reid, cbs news, west point, georgia. >> pelley: a lot of jobs are being lost in city governments and today trenton, new jersey, laid off a third of its police force. 105 officers in all. many of them left their boots in protest outside police headquarters, symbols of the city's now depleted police presence. an american astronaut and two russians were coming home from space when radio contact was lost. what happened next when we come back.
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>> pelley: the u.s. supreme court stopped the state of texas from executing dwayne buck last night. he was facing lethal injection for shooting and killing two people in 1995. the court said it will review buck's appeal because during a sentencing hearing, a psychologist testified that blacks are more likely to commit violence. there was quite a scare overnight for an american astronaut. he and two russian cosmonauts were on board a soyuz capsule heading home from the space station. just before they reentered the atmosphere, all communications
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were lost. russian controllers had no idea if the crew was safe or not. >> pelley: after a few nail-biting minutes, the capsule came into view and touched down safely in kazakhstan. the american, ronald garan and his crew mates, are readjusting to gravity after five and a half months in space. since the u.s. shuttle program ended in july, the russian soyuz is the only way to get to and from the space station. after bullies drove a young student to suicide, his parents made it their mission to protect other children. that story's next. plus it supports heart health. [ bat cracks ] that's a hit.
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>> kameron was a great kid. he was loved by everybody who ever met him-- except those who bullied him. >> reporter: a few weeks into kameron jacobsen's freshman year at a monroe, new york, high school, he told his parents wanda and kevin he was being viciously bullied. >> he said "the kids in school are picking on me. they shove me into lockers. they say all kinds of things to me, how little i am, they laugh at me." and he said "i don't want to live like this, mom." >> are you filming me? >> reporter: kameron didn't want his parents to talk to the school but they did anyway. with his school's safety director the jacobsen's came up with a plan to watch kameron on video in the hallways and catch the bullies in action. they thought they'd have time to handle it, but he wasn't just being harassed at school. you kept pages where there are threats to him. >> i did. >> reporter: kameron was on the social networking sites facebook and formspring and as his parents found out too late, so were the bullies. i would love to kick the...
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>> midget kameron. >> it's 24/7. >> it doesn't end at the front door. >> reporter: the bullies can follow you home on the computer. >> on the phone, on the computer. it invades your privacy. you no longer have that safety zone any longer. these bullies invaded our home and took our child. >> i haven't seen you in a while. >> reporter: one night this past january, four months into the school year, 14-year-old kameron jacobsen shut down his computer, went to his bedroom and hanged himself. >> how much pain were you in? how much pain were you in? >> reporter: was kameron in? >> yes. how much pain? because i'm in so much pain. >> reporter: the jacobsens chose not to seek punishment or even publicly identify the bullies saying that would not bring their son back. instead, they're pushing far state law that would require
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schools to report and immediately take action against bullying and cyber bullying, both on and off school property. >> i don't have to fight anymore. i don't have a child in the school system. but i theme to fight for everyone else. i'm there to stand with them and figure something out because it has to stop. >> pelley: correspondent tracy smith. the anti-bullying summit will be held in washington next wednesday and thursday and cbs news will have a lot more on this tonight in a 48 hours special "bullying: words can kill." that the that's at 8:00, 7:00 central time. that's the cbs news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley. and i'll see you sunday on "60 minutes." good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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